Monday, 1 November 2010

Book ~ "Stroll: Psychogeographic Walking Tours of Toronto" (2010) Shawn Micallef

From Amazon ~ What is the "Toronto look"? Toronto architecture is rich with superlative facts – "tallest" this, "first retractable" that – but, taken as a whole, the city’s built environment is underappreciated. Here, glass skyscrapers rise beside Victorian homes and Brutalist apartment buildings often mark the edge of leafy ravines, creating a city of contrasts whose architectural look can only be defined by telling the story of how it came together and how it works, today, as an imperfect machine.

Eye Weekly columnist Shawn Micallef has been examining Toronto’s architecture for many years, weaving historical information on its buildings and their architects with expansive ambulatory narratives about the neighbourhoods in which these buildings exist. Stroll collects Micallef's expanded columns alongside a number of new, unpublished essays; together, these psychogeographic reportages situate Toronto's buildings in living, breathing detail, and tell us more about the people who use them, how it feels to be exploring them in the middle of the night and the unintended ways in which they're evolving.

Stroll celebrates Toronto’s details – some subtle, others grand – at that velocity and, in so doing, helps us understand what impact its many buildings, from the CN Tower to Pearson Airport's Terminal One and New City Hall, have on those who live there.

This is an interesting account of one person's walking tours around Toronto, along with high level history of the areas and what is currently there.

One weird disappointment was in his description of being at Tommy Thompson Park (aka Leslie Street Spit) and Vicki Keith Point. He makes no mention of the automated lighthouse ... it is only one of three lighthouses in Toronto and the only active one in the city (though he'll tell you there is a Coffee Time at the corner of King/Queen/Roncie!!).

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